Writing a critique is one of the most common tasks that college students have to do. Such a paper requires attention to details, analytical skills, and critical thinking. Some freshmen don’t know how to write a critique, and such assignments often create difficulties for them. This article will show you how to write good critical papers.
How to Write a Critique: Preliminary Steps
Prior to writing a critique paper, a student should carefully evaluate the book or article that will be critiqued. There are several ways of making this process more interesting and productive. This is how you can do it:
- Use asterisks and colors to highlight the most important quotations and paragraphs in the book. If you do so, it will be easier for you to find the most important information later on.
- Briefly summarize the key arguments that the author or authors advance. You should write them down using bullet points. Again, you need to write down the number of the pages where they appear in the book, so that you easily find them again when writing the paper.
- Look at the data that the author discusses. When were these data collected? Does this information come from credible sources? Is it fully relevant to the ideas that the writer discusses?
- Think how the author’s arguments can be disputed. Does the researcher acknowledge possible limitations of his or her ideas? Suppose that you were an opponent of the writer’s arguments, how would you criticize them?
- Write down the new ideas or concepts that you have learned from this book or article. Has it been of any use to you?
How to Write a Critique: An Outline for Your Paper
Very often, students struggle with their critique papers because they don’t know how to structure them. You should look at this detailed outline explaining how to write a critique:
- Introduction. In this section of your paper you need to describe the main idea the writer focuses on. More importantly, you should give an overall evaluation of this book or study.
- Main body. In this part, you should evaluate the authors’ theories or arguments in more detail. Focus on the hypothesis or theories that the author advances. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- In the main body, you also need to assess the examples that the writer gives. Do these examples really back up the author’s claims? Are these examples relevant to the topic?
- Furthermore, you need to discuss the practical implications of the writer’s work. Can his or her ideas be used to solve a certain problem or answer some important question?
- Finally, it is necessary to determine whether this book or article offers any original ideas.
- Conclusion. In the last part, you should briefly restate your thesis about this book or article.
How to Write a Critique: Follow-Up
So, now you know how to write a good critique. Hopefully, you will remember the suggestions provided in this article. If you take them into account, you will see that critical papers are not as hard to write as they seem to be. So, good luck to you!